Human Rights, and Wrongs

Aryeh Neier's new history of the human rights movement manages to be dull, impersonal and evasive all at the same time. But when read carefully, it shows signs that the movement's old guard is growing more uncomfortable with the unfettered idealism of the rising generation of human rights activists.

All That Money Can Be

A little economic history goes a long way to show how money and debt interact. The Tea Party movement may have strange ideas about public policy, but its instincts on basics are not that far off the mark.

Why SOPA Is Inevitable

Now that the awareness-raising blackouts over the notorious anti-piracy SOPA/PIPA legislation are behind us, it’s a good time to look ahead to what comes next for internet freedom. In the coming days, thousands of digital column-inches will be devoted to trying to see if these unprecedented virtual protests have managed to move the needle in […]

Black and White

I’m saddened by the passing of Christopher Hitchens, a writer whose exquisite style I’ve admired for as long as I’ve been old enough to know what’s any good. Nevertheless, I can’t bring myself to properly mourn him without reflecting on his failings. All the encomia so far have been adulatory, and much of that is […]

Podcast: Obama’s Speech on the Middle East

After President Obama’s May 19th address on his Middle East policy, I sat down with AI Editor Adam Garfinkle. In his previous life, Adam was speechwriter for both Colin Powell and Condoleezza Rice when they served as Secretary of State under George W. Bush. He’s been writing a series of line-by-line analyses of President Obama’s […]

Interview: Matthew Hoh on Changing Course in Afghanistan

Late last week I had a chance to sit down for a talk with Matthew Hoh. You might remember his name from when he resigned his post with the State Department in Zabul Province in Afghanistan in 2009. Here’s a link to an article which was published around the time of his resignation. It ought […]

Libya and Iraq, Rebels and Kurds

Making connections between the current engagement in Libya and our ongoing project in Iraq is not usually well received. To be fair, there are perhaps more differences than similarities. The European Union’s plans to ask, at last, for UN permission to send ground troops into Libya is nothing if not agonizingly slow in coming to […]

The Blindness of Interventionism

Though the signs were clear from the start of the Libya operation that people hadn’t clearly thought through the consequences of intervention, it took a tweet from Anne-Marie Slaughter (the recently-departed Director of Policy Planning at the State Department and one-time author for our magazine) to crystallize just what a mess we’re really in. She […]

Against Humanitarian Intervention

The argument one’s been hearing most of all from critics of the intervention in Libya has been over consistency. If we’re so keen on invading Libya for ostensibly humanitarian reasons, why aren’t we fighting a war in Bahrain, Yemen or Côte d’Ivoire? The implication here is two-fold: that the Obama Administration has embarked on this […]

Pop Music
P.J. Harvey’s Black Painting

Let England Shake By P.J. Harvey As you look back over the past decade of popular music, the thing that stands out is how introspective and self-obsessed much of it has been. Given the significance of the events that transpired in the 2000s—from the attacks of 9/11, to an unprecedented two simultaneous foreign wars waged […]

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